Johann Zarco reclaimed the Le Mans track record in the third free practice for the French MotoGP on Saturday.
Italian Enea Bastianini on a Gresini Ducati set a new record on Friday, breaking the Bugatti circuit mark set by Frenchman Zarco in 2018.
Zarco lapped in 1min 30.537 shaving more than 0.6 sec off the day-old record as the top nine riders on Saturday all bettered Bastianini’s Friday time.
Zarco was 0.031 faster than Francesco Bagnaia on a factory Ducati with championship leader Fabio Quartararo on a Yamaha 0.145 behind.
While Zarco, who rides for Ducati satellite team Pramac, is seeking his first win at MotoGP level, Quartararo is chasing his first victory in his home grand prix.
Spanish multiple world champion Marc Marquez was a menacing fourth on his Honda.
Last year’s Le Mans winner, Australian Jack Miller, was fifth on the other factory Ducati.
Bastianini, beset by mechanical problems, was only 16th fastest time in the third practice session.
His Friday time was still good enough to stay in the top 10 of the combined classification, good enough to advance directly to the second and final qualifying session in the afternoon.
Q2 starts at 1210 GMT with the riders outside the top 10 battling for two places in Q1 which follows at once and decides the first four rows of the grid.